Last Week for Theme Park Hallowe’en’s!

NightmareResinDoombuggy.jpgMy friends and I returned to Disneyland last week to go on the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion (link goes to Doombuggies). And, of course, it was awesome. I expected a few random movie references scattered in the ride – sort of like what was done with Pirates of the Caribbean. But it was actually like being on a different ride, except where the existing ride features could be worked into a Nightmare context.

If you haven’t gone yet, this is your last weekend for the Disneyland Hallowe’en. Aside from pumpkin motifs throughout the park, not much else has changed. But Disneyland isn’t so much trying to compete with Knotts Scary Farm or Universal Studios as it is providing an alternative to those places. According to an L.A. Times article last month, (“Theme Parks Are Dying To Feature Hallowe’en“), Disneyland is trying to bring the fun back to Hallowe’en without the “ghoulish stuff”: pumpkin carving and Disney villains feature prominently. Their take is more of a harvest festival feeling (especially on Main Street) than a Hallowe’en celebration, which really isn’t too bad, philosophically.

There’s a list of which L.A. parks are doing what at About.com as well. I’ve heard mixed commentary about the Universal Studios Horror Nights – despite having a well produced website, friends have proclaimed it “not much more frightening than Knotts Scary Farm”. Commentary on those parks is encouraged especially, as I’m curious. But while it is the last week for Disney and other theme park Hallowe’en’s, the Nightmare Haunted Mansion Christmas is around for another two months (until Xmas). If you’re a fan of the dancing ghosts and Jack Skellington, you have some time to take a weekend day (or a “sick day”) to go check it out in Anaheim.

(post edited to correct ending date of Nightmare ride – thanks 5000!)

5 Replies to “Last Week for Theme Park Hallowe’en’s!”

  1. If you haven’t gone yet, this is your last weekend for the Disneyland Hallowe’en.

    To clarify, this is the last weekend for “Hallowe’en” at Disney, but NOT the last weekend for Haunted Mansion Holiday (the proper name for Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion) right? They usually run Haunted Mansion Holiday until the first of the year, and I prefer to catch it closer to Xmas. If they’re cutting it off early this year I’m going to be bummed.

  2. I saw the Haunted Mansion last week as well. It was incredible. Last year it was good, but they didn’t go all out and create a completely different ride like they did this year. I think that 5000! is right, the Nightmare Haunted Mansion should be open through Christmas.

  3. Yay, I’m so psyched for it. It sounds like it’s better than ever. I thought they had lost that license, but I guess not. It’s really more of a Xmas ride, though.

    As for Halloween events at the theme parks, I haven’t been to anything this year but in the past Universal definitely beat the pants off the other parks. Which is funny since normally it sucks. I don’t think that their haunted houses (or “mazes” as people have taken to calling them much to my dismay) were ever any better, but they always did a much better job of turning the whole park into a Halloween experience instead of just plopping some haunted houses into the existing park and staying open late. That might not be the case any longer.

  4. I went to the Universal Halloween Haunt on 10/13; it was fun, but a bit disappointing overall. The backlot/tram ride is surprisingly short and not so much scary as it is cool to see the Psycho house/ Bates motel up close, as well as a close up look a the War of the Worlds plane crash set.

    The security lines to even get in the park were atrocious, and the Jurassic Park ride was surprisingly disappointing; when they say “in the dark,” it’s more like “forgot to turn the lights on” with a few jack o’ lanterns thrown in at the very end. Couldn’t even see the dinosaurs! (they could have done -some- sort of scary lighting, ya think?)

    The one maze we got on (the asylum) was the best part of the night. And we never even got to check out any of the stage shows, since they hadn’t extended the hours yet, and kicked us out at midnight (boo!). We basically got to do three attractions the whole night, which really sucked.

    I went to Knotts scary farm a few years ago and had a blast; just as crowded, but they had more mazes and more “halloweeny” themed rides/mazes to do, so you could do more attractions throughout the night. The mazes don’t have the production value that the Universal one we went on had, but there were more of them, and they’re scary and make you jump, so they work just as well.

    If i had to do it again, I’d probably go back to Knotts.

    (eeee! disney :) so so so going… I didn’t know they had overhauled the nmb4xmas ride to be any different that last year- thanks for the heads up!)

  5. Brandon:

    You must be misremembering your last visit, because Haunted Mansion Holiday has been largely the same since it’s debut several years ago, and this year’s version is virtually unchanged from last year. But it is a wonderful ride, and is indeed there throughout the holidays.

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